Does Google AdWords remarketing work?

Posted by Carol on 17/11/14 9:45 AM

Google remarketing doesn't work - according to a member of a LinkedIn group I am in.

He'd tried it twice with two different agencies, it wasn't profitable and also thought that as an internet user, he found remarking annoying.

Remarketing isn't magic pill that will make people buy from you. It requires a careful well thought out strategy to be effective.

If you have tried remarketing  before and found it hasn't worked for you, here are some tips to get it firing.

Segment your audience

Rather than targeting all site visitors, a better strategy is to break your site visitors down into segments. Some simple lists to start with include:

  • All Site Visitors
  • People who have demonstrated an interest in your products or services by their behaviour. For example they may have looked at your About or Contact pages, they may have added an item to the shopping cart but abandoned at the last minute. Perhaps they spent more time that normal on your site.
  • Converters / Customer - these are the people who have already phoned you, called you or brought from you.

Your segmented lists can be time, behaviour, interest, product or seasonal based.

By breaking your visitors into lists you can add or exclude them from being remarketed to.

A practical example of this is by advertising only to people who added something to the shopping cart and excluding the ones who actually brought from you.

The sweet spot in remarketing is targeting people who leave the page before your main conversion points.

Your can even overlay an audience with other audiences to make your lists super segmented. A caveat though, the smaller the list size the more difficult it will be for your ads to show.

Too much segmentation can have a negative effect on your campaign if you site does not get a lot of traffic.

Adjust your frequency

Let's face it, showing your ad to the same person 100 times is annoying.  Just like my fellow LinkedIn member said.

There are ways though to make it much less intrusive and annoying.

Cap your frequency so your potential customer doesn't feel like their being stalked. Frequency can easily be controlled in the settings area of your campaign.

We've often found that the ideal frequency range is somewhere between 4 and 7. But there is no hard and fast rule for this. It's important to review the reach and frequency report located under the Dimensions tab in adwords and make your decisions from there.

Review your timing

Timing is critical in re-marketing. Showing your customer an ad a hour after they left a website is pre-mature.

Carefully consider the specifics of the product and the engagement of the user when they abandoned and adjust the timing to match.

Block sites and placements that don't convert

Some sites, particularly mobile apps and games are good at attracting clicks but bad at attracting conversions. People playing a game or using an app are generally in the middle of doing something else. Your ad is often a distraction.

If you find sites that have high click through rates and low conversions, block them. You see which sites your ad appeared by checking out the placements report. This nifty little report is located in the Dimensions tab in the view automatic placements section. You can also find it in the Display Network tab in the placements section. Look out for the sites labeled with the automatic status.

Review your messaging, landing page and call to action.

Put some thought into your campaign and tailor your ads (both banner and text) to encourage people back to your site. It's a good idea to review the messaging, landing page and your call to action.

Just using your normal ad inventory is lazy and doesn't deliver a targeted message.  Consider dangling a really interesting carrot to lure them back.

Some practical examples could be to offer:

  • a free trial
  • free shipping
  • a discount off the purchase price
  • a case study or whitepaper

Don't forget your buyers

I always recommend to try the journey as a customer yourself. It's one of the first things we do.

Think like a customer and ask yourself if you would buy if you were a potential customer.

Find all the stops down the funnel and see if you can remove them.

For example, people may be reluctant to buy shoes on-line in case they don't fit. If this is an issue consider offering free shipping on returns in the re marketing ad.

Investigate the things that are hurting conversion

If you are having people abandon your shopping carts, you need to find out why first.

As a consumer, I often get to cart before I can see the delivery charges. If I don't like what I see I leave. It's one of the most annoying things for me and I'm pretty sure I am not the only person who thinks so.

Consider that sometimes, potential customers may add items to their shopping cart wish list to get an idea of what it would cost to buy all the things they want. Perhaps after doing this, they find it more expensive than what they were willing to pay.

Hiring an outside agency can help as we can all become "blind" to what is wrong with our own websites. This is why it pays to work with a good agency.

Investigate attribution modelling

It's not always as easy to workout where the influence for a click came from in the first place.

So the remarketing ads might be doing their job but the click throughs are coming from different activities. it's worth checking to see if there's been an increase in web traffic at the time of the campaign.

It's also worth looking at attribution modelling to discover if remarketing helped contribute to a conversion even if it wasn't the last click.

Remarketing is complex. Having a well thought out strategy can go a long way to boost performance.

Want an experienced opinion on your AdWords Remarketing Campaign?

Why not contact us? We are Google AdWords Partners, and have helped many businesses improve their campaigns.


Topics: PPC & AdWords

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